Why is reform needed?
The United States has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the industrialized world. Nearly one million students drop out of school every year in this country, and almost half of all African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans fail to graduate. In Delaware, 1,995 students dropped out of high school during the 2005-2006 school year. Research shows that dropouts are more likely than high school graduates to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty, in prison, on public assistance, and to have children who also drop out of high school. Many who do graduate from high school find that the jobs they are seeking require more sophisticated skills and knowledge. Businesses are looking for employees who can write and communicate clearly, analyze information, conduct research and solve complex problems. The majority of jobs in the labor market now require at least some postsecondary education, and students must be prepared for the increased demands of college-level work. Whether heading to jobs or college, Delaware students are facing higher expectations and our public schools must ensure that they receive the instruction and support necessary to meet those expectations.